Review: The five second stadium stopwatch

Most of us have a somewhat decent internal clock that helps us guesstimate when it's time to wake up or time to feed the dogs, but how well can we count exactly five seconds without looking at the clock? Bandai Gadget is a sub-brand of the great toymaker Bandai that exclusively makes toys that satiate random human urges. They've also invented fun things like the gun alarm clock, the electronic bubble wrap toy, and the digital poking box, but I think their best product to date is the Five Second Stadium Stopwatch. The game is really simple: press the button once, the counter resets to 0:00 and the voice says: Ready? Press it again and the screen goes blank. Once you've counted five seconds in your head, hit the button again and the counter will display how many seconds have actually passed. And depending on how close you are, he'll say encouraging things like: You can do it! or yell at you: What the hell are you doing? (Nani yattenno yo!) I have spent countless give-or-take-five-seconds with this thing, and have gotten as close to 4.99 and 5.01. But as this video taken just a few hours ago proves, exacting time is apparently not something I have gotten better at over time. It's a strange thing. Watching the video, I find myself thinking: D'oh! That's way past five seconds! or, Now! or, Yikes too early! But when I was actually doing it, I was honestly giving it my best shot. Since this is conveniently pocket-sized and super addictive without being hard to comprehend, I've brought it with me everywhere--to conferences, parties, volleyball games--and people have invariably gotten addicted to it. I even had one stolen from me at ETech. Anyone in the US can buy it on for $20, but be warned: it is highly addictive and a total waste of time. But then again, who doesn't have five seconds to spare for useless entertainment?

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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17 Responses to Review: The five second stadium stopwatch

  1. nutbastard says:

    Hmmm, you could make an iPhone app for all kinds of stuff like this, i would think.

  2. Anonymous says:

    the probability to hit the button at exactly 5’00 is very narrow.

    someone who took probs’ know that applying a finite asumption (percentage of success) on a continuous base (time) is none sense.

    To make things simple, here is an example. it’s like trying to catch a bus at exactly the same time when it arrives at the station: you’ll be either to earlier or to late.

  3. pork musket says:

    Why not just use any old stopwatch and not look at the screen after you hit start? Then, if you were feeling saucy, you could try for 10 seconds.

  4. Anonymous says:

    LOL! Why buy something while you can use free software? for example.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Went to the website and then checked the classified ads for a second job.

    Que bueno gizmos.

  6. HeatherB says:

    Tried this at toy fair, it’s fun and addictive. Can’t wait to get one.

  7. nutbastard says:

    @#10 PaulR

    dude this is like the second time this comment’s been on this thread.. just sayin’.

  8. strider_mt2k says:

    It’s weird.
    Somehow I get more joy out of reading about this stuff than I would ever get with it sitting in my hands!

    It’s as if thinking about it creates a momentary anti-thought bubble or something.

    I find it quite refreshing!


    We can get pleasure from seeing something again once we’ve seen it. Close the museums if not.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you click on the “Flash…Game” link at the “Five Second Stopwatch” link in the above post you can try on online version.

  10. PaulR says:

    ZoopyFunk @3:

    I came here to say the same thing.

  11. ZoopyFunk says:

    I think this is the third time this has been on BB or BBG. Just sayin’.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Kaoru Miki?

  13. batu b says:

    How is the made-up word “guesstimate” different from the actual word “estimate”?

  14. Anonymous says:

    why pay for USD20?

    i found the sell only USD9.99 for this

    5 second stadium stopwatch

  15. ssp711 says:

    why pay for USD20?

    i found the sell only USD9.99 for this

    5 second stadium stopwatch

  16. KurtMac says:

    @#2 PORK: I would imagine having a hard time hitting 5:00 seconds perfectly on the dot even while looking at the stopwatch.

  17. Brother Provisional says:

    That is the most frustrating thing I’ve watched in quite a while.

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